Whoo, what a roller-coaster ride this trip to Blacksburg, Virginia, was!
Sorry I’ve been MIA for the past days; I did have internet access but I decided to take a break from blogging for a while so that I can integrate myself fully into the social activities with my friends. Sure you understand
First off, I need to make a confession: I didn’t mention it on my last post, but there was a bit of initial struggle for me to actually tag along on this trip. Most of you all know I have control issues, which only aggravated with my eating disorder, especially in regards to mealtimes and meal locations. Let me list several reasons why this sudden “wedlock” trip irked me:
- It was born out of nowhere just one day before the day of the trip…what the hell?
- It was planned without having been discussed with me.
- There were seven of us, and we were still ambiguous about our sleeping locations.
- We had no specific plan about what we were going to do!
- I knew there no good places to eat in Blacksburg, and considering that we are all poor students, knew we would more or less rely on fast food.
- My mealtimes and sleep-times would get messed up.
I used to enjoy spontaneity, but after several years of rigid scheduling and strict self-imposed rules, this sort of “up-for-the-moment” activity freaked me out.
I threw a small fuss for a bit, considering to just drop out and stay home, but after thinking it through, I realized it was another opportunity God was sending my way to challenge myself. In addition, I knew I would feel even worse if I were the only one who was left out!
So I went. This time though, I made no expectations for good food, but just good company. I would train myself to be satisfied with the great camaraderie between my friends alone, and try not to obsess about food and mealtimes.
Conclusion: It’s been one hell of a ride, but it’s sure as heck been a pretty enjoyable and memorable one!
We planned to set out early in the morning on Friday, but ended up starting the drive late as usual. By the time we reached Blacksburg it was past 1pm, and we stopped by the nearest place to eat:
I’ve never heard of this place until that day, but apparently it’s a popular sub-sandwich chain?
I ordered the Vegetarian on thick-sliced 7-grain whole wheat bread:
Layers of provolone cheese separated by real avocado spread, alfalfa sprouts, sliced cucumber, lettuce, tomato, and mayo.
Thick-sliced indeed! Two pieces of inch-thick dense carbyness! Truthfully, I wasn’t too impressed with this sandwich. It would have been 100% times better toasted or pressed.
After our late lunch we hopped over to my brother’s college, Virginia Tech, the land of the Hokies:
This is the place where the tragic V-tech shooting happened:
We also stopped by the memorial stones to show our respect for the fallen victims…
I can’t believe such a tragedy happened in such a peaceful southern country-side!
I wonder what the cows were doing then? I love how there are random fields of grazing cows everywhere:
Anyway, after the short tour (V-tech is huge!) we chilled at my friend Joyce’s apartment. The neat thing is, her roommate Alison decided to sleep over at her friend’s place so all seven of us could just about squeeze into the apartment!
And Asian stir-fry for most of my friends…
They each got one single piece of corn in their stir-fries. How generous of the cook!
The following morning, I made breakfast for my friends:
Then we had a small worship time together, and then set off to the Cascades for a little hike.
Now this is when disaster struck. Half-way on our drive to the mountains, our SUV made a little “pop” sound and smoke starting steaming out from the front! We had to stop in the middle of nowhere, hacking and coughing from the toxic gas.
But God sent an angel to help us! This African-American guy happened to drive past, but he stopped and offered to help. He even drove us around to three different mechanic repair shops, but all of them were closed for the weekend. Anyway, long story short (especially since I’m pretty darn clueless about cars): we figured out what was wrong with the car (something about overheating and the lack of liquid in the coolant), and we were back to driving to the mountains in two hours.
But the best thing out of this little “disaster” was the random friendship and bond we formed with a complete stranger. We were so grateful for him, we all encircled around and prayed for him. The guy was so touched he wept! And then he spent a half an hour or so sharing about his sad childhood (orphaned at 2 and sent to 36 different foster homes), and his own religious beliefs. We wrote down his contact number, and promised to hit him up if we ever come down again!
Oh, and the hike was lovely. Rather tiring, but the end was so worth it:
For dinner, majority won and we went to Texas Roadhouse, though I really did not feel like having a steak:
That’s when my obsession for food reared its ugly head again and I started feeling upset that I would not be able to eat what I want, but I just smiled and bear with it. You know what they say, “Fake it till you make it”? That’s what I did, and I ended up enjoying the company anyway, though not so much the food…:-(
At least the hot rolls they served out with whipped cinnamon butter was amazing!
Most of my friends ordered similar items. Prime-rib, NY strip, rib-eye, etc:
I ordered the Pulled Pork Sandwich:
Tender pork covered in our signature BBQ Sauce. Side of broccoli and carrots.
It was just tolerable, nothing special. I also had it with some sweet potato:
And unlimited free peanuts (freaking big bucket)!!
Gosh, were we tired that day! But did we crawl into our beds like good kids? No…We stayed up the whole night playing random games…
Apples to Apples, anyone?
Suffice to say, I was pretty damn pooped the next morning. But we still had our own Sunday service together by listening to a pastor’s sermon online and then doing some sharing, singing some praise songs, and taking turns to pray. And then off back to Northern Virginia we go!
But we stopped by Red Robin to fuel up first:
Ordered the Towering Ring Onions to share:
Sweet yellow onions — seasoned, breaded & crisply-fried. Served with tangy Campfire sauce and ranch dressing for dipping.
Nice and crunchy, but why is it kinda bitter-tasting?
In interest of keeping this post short(er), I only took a picture of my own food. I ordered the Jamaican Jerk’d Chicken Burger:
Spicy Jamaican-jerk’d chicken breast, topped with Pepper-Jack cheese, grilled pineapple, cool mango mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato. Served on a jalapeño-cornmeal kaiser roll.
This was freaking good! The chicken was mediocre, but with the grilled juicy pineapple and that fruity and tangy mayonnaise, it was over the top! But my favorite part was that buttered jalapeño-cornmeal kaiser roll. Cornbread with hints of spice, but bun-style!
They come with unlimited steak fries!
But seriously, is it just me, or does deep-fried food always taste sorta bitter? So, this is the second time I’ve had fries, but I’m still not impressed. Did my taste buds change? Is it possible to be turned off by something you used to adore?
Well, I’m finally back home now, and I need to do some unpacking and then some packing again for my trip up to NYC tomorrow. Gosh, it’s one event after another! I hope my body doesn’t crash…But I’m already pretty proud of how well it’s been holding up considering that several months before, I would fall into a stupor once night fell!
See you all in New York!
P.S. By the way, my trip to New York has been shortened…I’ll be leaving Friday instead of Saturday